The President's Budget Request (PBR) for NASA's fiscal year 2022 was released on May 28th, 2021. It proposes to spend $24.8 billion, an increase of 6.6% over the previous year. The increase is directed toward NASA's science programs, space technology, and human landing system development.

Congress must pass appropriations legislation in response to this budget request by September 30th, 2021, the end of the current fiscal year. So far, neither the Senate nor House of Representatives has released such legislation.

The FY 2022 Presidential Budget Request

  2021 Enacted 2022 PBR % Change
NASA $23,271 $24,802 +6.6%
Science $7,301 $7,931 +8.6%
Planetary Science $2,700 $3,200 +18.5%
Earth Science $2,000 $2,250 +12.5%
Astrophysics $1,356 $1,400 +3.2%
Roman Space Telescope $505 $501.6 -0.7%
James Webb Space Telescope $414.7 $175.4 -58%
Heliophysics $751 $796.7 +6%
Biological & Physical Science $79.1 $109.1 +38%
Exploration $6,555 $6,880 +5%
Orion Crew Vehicle $1,407 $1,407 -
SLS $2,586 $2,487 -4%
Lunar Gateway $698 $785 +12.3%
Human Landing System $850 $1,195 +41%
Space/Exploration Technology $1,100 $1,425 +30%
Space Operations $3,988 $4,017 +0.7%
Aeronautics $829 $915 +10%
STEM Engagement $127 $147 +16%
Safety, Security, & Mission Services $2,937 $3,049 +3.8%
Construction and Environmental Compliance $390 $390 -
NASA Inspector General $44.2 $46 +4.1%

All values are in millions of dollars. Directorate/top-level line-items are in boldface, divisions and major projects are in standard formatting; sub-programs are in italics. All major directorates are listed but not all sub-divisions or projects are included here.

The President's Budget Request for NASA was released on May 28th, 2021. Highlights of the proposal include:

  • "The Earth Systems Observatory...a new set of Earth-focused missions to provide key information to guide efforts related to climate change, disaster mitigation, fighting forest fires, and improving real-time agricultural processes"
  • Full funding to support a Mars Sample Return mission
  • $143.2 million for the NEO Surveyor mission to enable a mid-2020s launch
  • Continues the Roman Space Telescope, the follow-on mission from JWST
  • Modest increases for Artemis human landing system (HLS) and Gateway lunar station. Supports a single award for development of the HLS program.

Proposed Cuts in FY 2021

  • "Proposes termination and orderly shutdown of SOFIA, the second-most expensive operating mission in the Astrophysics Division, to focus on higher priority science"

Note: all quotes are from NASA's FY 2022 president's budget request and related documents.

    President's Budget Request Source Documents

    Historical Context

    Adjusting for inflation, the $24.7 billion proposal is the 2nd largest request for NASA since 1997. If it is approved by Congress, it would represent NASA's best budget since 1995.

    The Biden Administration projects this growth to continue, and aims to grow the agency to $27 billion by FY 2026.

    NASA's annual budget since its inception, adjusted for inflation using the NASA New Start Inflation Index. The vertical axis displays NASA's total congressional appropriation in billions of dollars. The horizontal axis is fiscal years. Detailed data including outlays, alternate inflation indicies, non-inflation adjusted numbers, and White House budget requests are available to view or to download as an Excel spreadsheet.

    Congressional Action

    Congress has yet to release or advance legislation related to NASA's FY 2022 appropriations, though the Senate has proposed legislation authorizing a second HLS contract award with a subsequent authorization of $10 billion over 5 years. It is not clear how much of this the appropriations committees would ultimately fund, however.

    This section will be updated as information becomes available.

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